[ suhs-tuh n-tey-shuh n ]
/ ˌsʌs tənˈteɪ ʃən /


maintenance in being or activity; the sustaining of life through vital processes.
provision with means or funds for upkeep.
means of sustaining life; sustenance.

Nearby words

  1. sustaining program,
  2. sustenance,
  3. sustentacular,
  4. sustentacular cell,
  5. sustentaculum,
  6. sustentation fund,
  7. sustention,
  8. sustentive,
  9. sustineo alas,
  10. susu

Origin of sustentation

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin sustentātiōn- (stem of sustentātiō) an upholding, equivalent to sustentāt(us) (past participle of sustentāre, frequentative of sustinēre to sustain) + -iōn- -ion

Related formssus·ten·ta·tion·al, adjectivesus·ten·ta·tive [suhs-tuh n-tey-tiv, suh-sten-tuh-tiv] /ˈsʌs tənˌteɪ tɪv, səˈstɛn tə tɪv/, adjectiveself-sus·ten·ta·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sustentation

British Dictionary definitions for sustentation


/ (ˌsʌstɛnˈteɪʃən) /


a less common word for sustenance

Word Origin for sustentation

C14: from Latin sustentātio, from sustentāre, frequentative of sustinēre to sustain

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sustentation



late 14c., from Anglo-French, Old French sustenacion, from Latin sustenationem (nominative sustenatio), noun of action from past participle stem of sustenare, frequentative of sustinere (see sustain).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper